Textbook of Interdisciplinary Pediatric Palliative Care

Article excerpt

Textbook of interdisciplinary pediatric palliative care J Wolfe, P S Hinds and B M Sourkes (2011) ISBN 978-1-4377-0262-0; Elsevier - Health Sciences Division (Saunders); 512 pages h/b; $99.00

Far fewer children than adults require end of life care and consequently palliative care is a relative new area of practice requiring guidance from burgeoning research and expert opinion. To date, almost all paediatric palliative care textbooks have been discipline specific yet those in the field acknowledge the benefits to be gained from interdisciplinary collaboration. In recognition of this phenomenon the authors of the 'Textbook of interdisciplinary pediatric palliative care', Drs. Joanne Wolfe, Pamela Hinds, and Barbara Sourkes, have created a first-of-its-kind approach to delivering sufficient and necessary guidance for shaping collaborative practices between disciplines. The majority of the chapters are co-authored by an interdisciplinary group; this approach to content along with an emphasis on effective team work allows the reader to fully appreciate the potential and proven solutions to the unique issues and dilemmas brought by children and adolescents as the approach their end of life. Communication between disciplines is facilitated within the text by consistent use of terminology and a discourse common to palliative care teams. The text is aimed at those practicing palliative medicine, pediatric oncologist, pediatric nurse practitioners and clinical nurse educators, psychology and social work with many chapters identifying specific needs and responsibilities of individual professions along with interwoven perspectives of team members.

As compendium of expert consults perspectives the book is organised as four sections. Section one, 'Setting the stage', provides the basis for understanding the interplay between the child's experience, ethical practice and evidence based intervention. Section two, 'Relationships: structure and communication', focuses on relationship building with the child and family in the in-hospital environment as well as the home. Section three, 'Overview: easing the suffering', practice has symptom management for fatigue, pain, psychological distress and delirium along with information of the effects on body system (respiratory, gastrointestinal, skin and haematology). Section four, 'Overview: illness and treatment experience', describes sequela and interventions for a range of causes of terminal illness (neurological, cardiac, immune deficiency, cystic fibrosis) as well as care of the very young (pre natal and neonatal) and those with inherited life threatening illness. …


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